After missing my stop, I’m unexpectedly walking
the 12th Street Bridge from Edgemoor.
Every few feet I stop, look down. From this vantage,
everything looks different: Padden Creek
an erratic meander, the trail a prominent gray band,
a trench from an outflow pipe a tributary channel.
I’m nearly to the north end of the bridge, see a fawn
far below, a world away.
Molting, the fawn nuzzles patchy hair close
to the base of its tail. Charmed with the fawn,
I watch — my delight undisguised. I continue on,
finally see the doe. Supine, she’s looking up,
watching me intently. Her eyes I know
are soft liquid brown pools. Her watchfulness
is exquisite and unnerving at the same time.
I want to reassure her that I am not a threat —
not to her fawn, not to her, but can’t.
I don’t know her language. Convincing her
that a human is not a threat would be a disservice.
She’s vigilant, knows the day can unhinge,
can turn clawed, fanged, bloody.
Worlds apart, we are united only in watchfulness.
Andrew Shattuck McBride
NaPoWriMo 2014 ~ Day 13